The 84-year-old Lyons has represented Native Americans before the United Nations since 1977. Lyons helped achieve the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The last major country in the world to support that declaration was the United States.
The World Council of Churches, the United Methodist Church and the Leadership Conference of Religious Women have all condemned the Doctrine of Discovery. To date, the Vatican has been silent. Native American leaders have had no success getting previous Popes to rescind the doctrine.
Now Lyons, Hill and other leaders like Sandra Bigtree of the Mohawk Nation plan to organize a protest march in Philadelphia next month to highlight the issue during the papal visit there.